Would Yamato with advanced AA gunnery survive air attack ?

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
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Re: Would Yamato with advanced AA gunnery survive air attack

Post by dunmunro » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:08 am

alecsandros wrote:OF course the Oka lacked manouvreing capabilities; it relied on 800km/h speed!

A good portion (though I don't know how many of total) of kamikazes attacked with aircraft capable of more than 200kts, many around 300kts. The Vals and Kates that you mention were obsolete in 1944, and had been mostly replaced by B6Ns and D4Ys.
Of course the Vals and Kates were obsolete; that's why they were given to the kamikaze pilots. Production of the later types was quite restricted and were mainly reserved for experienced combat pilots.
TYPES OF PLANES USED

The enemy has used all types of planes in his suicide attacks--twin- and single-engined planes, new and obsolete aircraft. The Baka bomb is discussed in detail in chapter V.

Suicide planes for the most part have been Vals and Zekes, carrying one or two 250-kg. bombs. Many obsolete types also were employed against picket stations and transport areas, but against Task Force 58 combat types were used.

Types of planes employed in suicide crashes have included Zeke 52's and 21's, Oscars, Vals, Kates, Tojos, Tonys, Judys (including the radial engine type), Bettys, Franceses, Irvings, Dinahs, Lilys, Jills, Marys, Alfs, Petes, Jakes, Rufes, Hamps, Nates, Sallys, and Nicks.

At Okinawa many obsolete types were employed, usually to supplement attacks by more modern aircraft. During one heavy attack fighter-bombers were followed by float planes which sought to finish off ships already damaged.
http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/rep ... index.html

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Re: Would Yamato with advanced AA gunnery survive air attack

Post by alecsandros » Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:33 pm

dunmunro wrote:

Of course the Vals and Kates were obsolete; that's why they were given to the kamikaze pilots. Production of the later types was quite restricted and were mainly reserved for experienced combat pilots.
Production figures:

Aichi Val: 1486. Speed: 400km/h
Judy D4Y: 2086. Speed: 500km/h

Nakajima Kate: 1150. SPeed: 350km/h
Nakajima B6N: 1268. Speed: 480km/h

(from their respective Wiki pages...)

"Leyte and Philippines
Lt. Yoshinori Yamaguchi's D4Y3 in the suicide dive against USS Essex, 1256 hours, 25 November 1944. Air brake flaps are extended, the burning port wing tank is trailing smoke. The lack of self-sealing fuel tanks made the D4Y easy to ignite with a few rounds of incendiary tracers, so a stricken Suisei often developed a fiery tail reminiscent of its namesake. Note white "17" on the vertical tail fin.

The D4Y was relegated to land operations where both the liquid-cooled engine D4Y2, and the radial engine D4Y3 fought against the U.S. fleet, scoring some successes. An unseen D4Y bombed and sank the Princeton on 24 October 1944. D4Ys hit other carriers as well, by both conventional attacks and kamikaze actions. In the Philippines air battles, the Japanese used kamikazes for the first time, and they scored heavily. D4Ys from 761 Kokutai may have hit the escort carrier USS Kalinin Bay on 25 October 1944, and the next day, USS Suwannee. Both were badly damaged, especially Suwannee, with heavy casualties and many aircraft destroyed. A month later on 25 November, USS Essex, Hancock, Intrepid and Cabot were hit by kamikazes, almost exclusively A6M Zero fighters and D4Ys, with much more damage. D4Ys also made conventional attacks. All these D4Ys were from 601 and 653 Kokutai.
[edit] In defence of the homeland

Task Force 58 approached southern Japan in March 1945 to strike military objectives in support of the invasion of Okinawa. The Japanese responded with massive kamikaze attacks, codenamed Kikusui, in which many D4Ys were used.

Carriers USS Enterprise and Yorktown were damaged by D4Ys of 701 Wing on 18 March. On 19 March, the carrier Franklin was hit with two bombs from a single D4Y, which then escaped despite heavy anti-aircraft fire. Franklin was so heavily damaged that she was retired until the end of the war. Another D4Y hit the carrier USS Wasp.

On 12 April 1945, another D4Y, part of Kikusui mission N.2, struck Enterprise, causing some damage.

During Kikusui N.6, on 11 May 1945, USS Bunker Hill was hit and put out of action by two kamikazes that some sources identify as D4Ys. This was the third Essex-class carrier forced to retire to the States to repair.
"

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Re: Would Yamato with advanced AA gunnery survive air attack

Post by dunmunro » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:50 pm

You have demonstrated that the D4Y was used for kamikaze attacks...however when did I say it wasn't used? What I did say was that the majority of attacks were carried out by older, obsolete aircraft and this is borne out by the USN data. The other factor that you brought up is that the D4Y was used for conventional attacks, for example on Franklin. However, during these attacks the pilots would typically try and return to their airfield unless damage made this impossible, and in that case they would attempt a suicide attack (as they had been doing all along, right from the beginning), but that was not the specific intent of the mission. Finally the production numbers are misleading because the engine serviceability rate of the newer IJN aircraft like the D4Y was very poor unlike the the proven engines of the earlier types.

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Re: Would Yamato with advanced AA gunnery survive air attack

Post by alecsandros » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:57 pm

I don't intend to "prove" anything, I'll leave that to professional historians :)

I just want to point out that a large number of kamikazes were fast-flying aircraft, thus making their interception and destruction by AA guns more difficult than a normal plane, in a normal attack. Moreover, the most devastating attacks (especialy against carriers) were allmost without exception carried out by D4Ys, Ki43s, B6Ns, etc.

Also, remember that most of the Vals and Kates had been destroyed in the large naval battles of 1942-1944, so only very few were serviceable at war's end.

Finaly, even considering Vals and Kates, ALL Japanese war planes were faster than 200kts without torpedo, with the late war types at around 300kts.

==
Edit:
From 1944 to 1945, around 3000-3500 kamikaze planes were directed towards the Allied ships in the Pacific, with around 50% of them in the battle of Okinawa alone. The 2 main kamikaze units were equipped with Zeros, Judys, B6Ns and various other modern aircraft, because those were the most expected to penetrate US defenses.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamikaze#M ... of_attacks

If you add to that the large number of Okha bombers - 800 units - which were purposefuly designed kamikazes, you will understand that many, and maybe even the majority of kamikaze attacks were performed with aircraft with speeds > 200-300kts.

=====
UPDATE:

"Okinawa was by far the largest and most successful Tokko campaign of the
war. It started on March 26, 1945, on a small scale, and followed on April 6
and 7 with the first major wave attack, involving almost 729 Tokko aircraft
and escort fighters. This mission was one of the largest Japanese air operations
of the entire war. During the Okinawa campaign, the army missions were
flown mainly by single-engine fighter and attack aircraft, with the Ki-27
“Nate” (150), Ki-43 “Oscar” (120), Ki-51 “Sonia” (11), Ki-61 “Tony” (60),
and Ki-84 “Frank” (60) being the predominant types
."

(Kamikaze - Japanese special attack weapons 1944-45, Steven Zaloga)

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Re: Would Yamato with advanced AA gunnery survive air attack

Post by dunmunro » Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:12 am

alecsandros wrote:

(Kamikaze - Japanese special attack weapons 1944-45, Steven Zaloga)
Of the aircraft listed only the Ki-84 would be considered a modern type. The Ki-27 which made up ~38% was a hopelessly obsolete type.

As I have explain, about 2/3s of all attacks were made with the aircraft starting its final run at less than 3000ft. Very few IJN aircraft could exceed 300mph at that altitude and many such as the Ki-27 and Ki-43, could do much less. However, regardless, Kamikaze pilot's, in general did not have the skills to make high speed dives into Allied ships and pilots were told to keep their speeds down to ensure control and accurate aim in the final phase. Suicide attacks by pilots flying modern aircraft were common in the IJN even in 1942, when the pilot felt that his aircraft was fatally damaged.

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Re: Would Yamato with advanced AA gunnery survive air attack

Post by Pandora » Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:19 am

dunmunro wrote:pilots were told to keep their speeds down to ensure control and accurate aim in the final phase.
is there any source for this?
Suicide attacks by pilots flying modern aircraft were common in the IJN even in 1942, when the pilot felt that his aircraft was fatally damaged.
I must be missing something here, didnt you just say the opposite a few posts back?
dunmunro wrote:What I did say was that the majority of attacks were carried out by older, obsolete aircraft and this is borne out by the USN data.

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Re: Would Yamato with advanced AA gunnery survive air attack

Post by dunmunro » Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:46 am

Pandora wrote:
dunmunro wrote:pilots were told to keep their speeds down to ensure control and accurate aim in the final phase.
is there any source for this?
Suicide attacks by pilots flying modern aircraft were common in the IJN even in 1942, when the pilot felt that his aircraft was fatally damaged.
I must be missing something here, didnt you just say the opposite a few posts back?
dunmunro wrote:What I did say was that the majority of attacks were carried out by older, obsolete aircraft and this is borne out by the USN data.
1) Instruction to Special Attack pilots:
Attack from that altitude is begun about 10 miles from the target in a glide to 5,000 - 6,500 feet, with the engine throttle to about 17 inches of mercury. If the pilot discovers he will overshoot he is instructed to dive steeply to a point short of the target, recover horizontal flight and then resume his glide.
http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/rep ... ary-3.html

2-3) If you misunderstood, it is because you missed my point in trying to point out the difference between a pilot who is trained solely for "Special Attacks" and was given the most rudimentary of training, far less than would be needed to control a modern high speed aircraft, and a fully trained pilot who does not take off with the intention of carrying out a suicide attack, but only does so, if before or during his conventional attack, either with a bomb or torpedo, be becomes convinced that he can no longer expect to carry out the attack and/or return to base. Suicide attacks by fully trained pilots were common in the IJAAF/IJNAF in a relative sense (IE compared to western pilots), but not in comparison to the overall numbers of kamikaze attacks that occurred in late 1944/45. However, because these pilots were highly skilled, and they were flying high performance aircraft their attacks tended to be more noteworthy - but they were not the norm!

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Re: Would Yamato with advanced AA gunnery survive air attack

Post by Pandora » Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:33 pm

1. but thats just the approach start of the target selection. as the kamikaze gets closer and closer to the target speed would increase.

2. ok, I see.

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Re: Would Yamato with advanced AA gunnery survive air attack

Post by boredatwork » Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:13 pm

After the discussion with Michael, a question came to me: Would Yamato and Musashi escape being sunk if they would have had AA artillery comparable to that of US battleships ? That would include:
- 40 x Bofors 40mm (quads, totalling 160 guns)
Reading the Japanese account of the attack that sunk Musashi, my opinion is that their sinking was inevitable - more attackers would have been shot down sure, and the remainder less accurate, but the numbers of attackers and their coordination would have still exacted their toll in the end as there was likely a fair amount of overkill in both sinkings.

Despite radar warning numerous groups of torpedo bombers, which ultimately delivered the fatal blow, went unoticed and unengaged by the gun crews until after they had dropped their weapons. Casualties amongst her gun crews were heavy and the only reason she was able to sustain fire for as long as she did was she had numerous survivors from the cruiser Maya able to fill their place - eventually however damage and overheating put most of her battery out of action.

The only thing that would have made an appreciable difference IMO was CAP by reasonably skilled airmen flying aircraft of comparable performance to their American adversaries. But if you have the resources to mount such a CAP then you likely have the ability to launch your own effective airstrikes yourself which agains leads back to the question of, *with the benefit of hindsight*, why would you build a battleship at all instead of additional carriers if the latter are a much more effective offensive AND deffensive weapon?


Also how do you get 160 bofors? The Iowas only had 19-20 Quads (80 guns) and I doubt the Yamato could effectively carry even that many and still use her main armament.

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Re: Would Yamato with advanced AA gunnery survive air attack

Post by alecsandros » Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:58 pm

Hello,
It's my mistake; I forgot how many bofors Iowa had :)

"why would you build a battleship at all instead of additional carriers if the latter are a much more effective offensive AND deffensive weapon?"

Good question.
I started this thread because I felt a properly guned BB can hold it's own quite well against waves of attacking bombers. US BBs, and to some extent British and German BBs demonstrated that. Of course, I'm thinking about post-1942 AA weaponry and fire control, with integrated radar, etc.

The battleship still had much more staying power than a carrier (whose air wing would be decimated very quickly if the enemy possessed good radar-controlled AA guns and properly trained crews -- just imagine a wargame with 2 US task forces pitched against each other, each one with 4 BBs and 4 Essex carriers + escorts. In the first day, most of the bombers of both sides would be blasted out of the sky with little to no damage delivered!) and it was much more heavily armored.

And the most important aspect: the offensive force of a battleship was not dependent on small, lightly defended units. It had good artillery, capable of reaching far inland, and excellent systems for destroying enemy ships.
The carrier was only feasible in the Pacific, and mainly because the Allies obtained air supremacy very early in the war, while the Japanese did not built sufficient AA guns, and proper installations to command them (with radar, of course). Worst still, they lost most of their experienced fighter pilots early in the war, and could not replace them fast enough.

In this kind of environment - with very little AA guns power, and little to no threat from enemy fighters - of course a carrier was an excellent solution, as it's planes could strike even at 600-800 miles away.

But imagine the Essex class in the Mediteranean, udner attack by hundreds of torpedo bombers/high level bombers (well escorted), OR trying to tackle the AA defense comparable to that of occupied France or the Netherlands...

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Re: Would Yamato with advanced AA gunnery survive air attack

Post by boredatwork » Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:01 pm

But imagine the Essex class in the Mediteranean, udner attack by hundreds of torpedo bombers/high level bombers (well escorted), OR trying to tackle the AA defense comparable to that of occupied France or the Netherlands...
I'm sorry but I'm failing to see your logic here - imagine the Yamato class with Iowa class AA in the mediterranean under attack by hundreds of torpedo bombers/high level bombers (well escorted), or trying to tackle the mine defenses/uboats/s-boats of occupied France or the Netherlands... How exactly would she be better off? She'll absorb more bombs and torpedoes before sinking but she has even less chance of accomplishing something than the carrier before she goes down. Just because it IS POSSIBLE to counter a carrier by massing enough aircraft is not an argument in favour of the battleship but rather an argument for massing more carriers or not getting involved in a war with such a power in the first place.
alecsandros wrote:And the most important aspect: the offensive force of a battleship was not dependent on small, lightly defended units. It had good artillery, capable of reaching far inland, and excellent systems for destroying enemy ships.
But a battleship WAS dependant on small lightly defended units - for protection from opposing torpedo boats, submarines, mines, aircraft, etc. Do you think, had Illustrious not been available Cunningham would have steamed his battlefleet, even if they had been Super AA Yamatos, up to Taranto to sink the italian battlefleet with his guns instead? The era of Coppenhagen or the Nile was long past, Narvik not withstanding. Or, even if he had had fast KGVs, (Or Tovey against Bismarck) would he have been able to bring his offensive firepower to bear on the Italian cruisers if Formidable's small lightly defended units hadn't crippled Pola for him?

Moreover the battleship herself although I will grant is hard to psysically sink, relied on many components that even comparatively weak weapons could easily knock out: directors, rangefinders, radar, props, rudders, uptakes and downtakes, etc

As for "Far inland?" A battleship might strike up to 25 miles inland, but in order to do so she would have to be ajacent to the shoreline and an easy target for costal artillery, mines, light forces, submarines, and enemy airstrikes. A carrier, even using early war planes, could hit 100+ miles inland while remaining 100+ miles off shore and beyond the reach of many forms of retaliation. She is only really concerned about airstrikes and her wide range of operations and her own fighers are much better defenses against them that a battleship's heavy AA.
The carrier was only feasible in the Pacific
The carrier in the European theatre was perpetually handicapped by a lack of numbers and aircraft. Given what single Illustrious class ships accomplished with air wings 1/2 to 1/3rd the size of other fleet carriers, if the RN had been able to deploy a proper task force of 3-4 FLEET carriers full of well trained pilots and adequate aircraft the possibilities they could have achieved were enormous:

- Bismarck AND Prinz Eugen shadowed and sunk without placing the Hood at risk.
- Scharnhorst and Gneisenau permanently immobilised in Brest
- Tirpitz likewise perpetually crippled in her Norwegian Fjord
- All 6 Italian BBs sunk at Taranto
- Crete reinforced and defended from further airlift operations
- Malta more effectively supplied/Afrika Korps starved of resources sooner
- Surprise raids on along the length of occupied europe to dilute German defenses
The battleship still had much more staying power than a carrier (whose air wing would be decimated very quickly if the enemy possessed good radar-controlled AA guns and properly trained crews -- just imagine a wargame with 2 US task forces pitched against each other, each one with 4 BBs and 4 Essex carriers + escorts. In the first day, most of the bombers of both sides would be blasted out of the sky with little to no damage delivered!) and it was much more heavily armored.
War isn't a wargame =P

Again in the unlikely event such a balanced clash occurs natural caution would tend to force the two sides apart after they were certain their own air wings were depleted rather than chance a surface encounter at parity or worse - after all what if your pilots were exagerating their claims - it doesn't exactly take a big strike to cripple a BB: Littorio/Cavour/Dulio(Taranto), VV (Matapan), Warspite (Crete), Roma/Italia(Surrender) and Warspite (Salerno), Jean Bart (Cassablanca), Bismarck, Richelieu, etc.

On the flip side in the much more common situation where the balance of air power tips to one side or the other it's kinda hard to find examples of battles where the side left with the greater air power wasn't the side that came out on top.

The carrier was only feasible in the Pacific, and mainly because the Allies obtained air supremacy very early in the war, while the Japanese did not built sufficient AA guns, and proper installations to command them (with radar, of course). Worst still, they lost most of their experienced fighter pilots early in the war, and could not replace them fast enough.
You counter your own argument - the Carrier was most effective because the allies obtained air supremacy very early in the war. If air supremacy allows weapons to be so effective then one must ask what gained air supremacy? Answer: Aircraft. Except for shore bombardment there was no battle fought by battleships in WW2 in either theatre that replacing one side's BBs with an equivalent number of fleet carriers wouldn't have been a huge advantage.

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Re: Would Yamato with advanced AA gunnery survive air attack

Post by 19kilo » Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:18 am

Was just wondering, would the Yamato have been vulnerable to a weapon like Fritz X?

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Re: Would Yamato with advanced AA gunnery survive air attack

Post by Keith Enge » Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:14 pm

alecsandros -
But imagine the Essex class in the Mediterranean, under attack by hundreds of torpedo bombers/high level bombers (well escorted)
This sort of battle basically never occurred. The Mediterranean theater didn't have hundreds of planes attacking ships. The RAF and Luftwaffe considered it a secondary theater where second-line planes could still be used. For example, for a long time, the RAF sent Hurricanes to the Med while keeping its Spitfires in England.

I had my database search for battles in the Mediterranean where "hundreds" of planes attacked ships. It found only two where over a hundred planes were present (of course, not all attacked). These were Operation Halbred and Operation Pedestal. Both were multi-day convoy battles so the over hundred planes were spread over several days, diluting their effect and easing the defense against them. Discounting these two prolonged battles, therefore, it found only two battles with short time frames that had even 50 planes. In support of the Excess convoy, on the 10th of January 1941, RN CV Illustrious was attacked by 51 planes (43 Stukas and 8 S.M.79s). She was damaged but made it to a refuge in Malta. The other battle was Operation Agreement. Here, north of Mersa Matruh on 14th September 1942, a group of RN warships carrying troops were attacked by 69 planes (21 Stukas, 32 Ju 88s, and 16 M.C.200s). The RN lost a light cruiser, two destroyers, and five MTBs; against one of the DDs, the planes had help from shore batteries. Furthermore, only four more battles had even 30 planes and two of those were convoy battles so probably shouldn't be considered. Your supposition of hundreds of planes attacking ships in the Mediterranean simply didn't happen.

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Re: Would Yamato with advanced AA gunnery survive air attack

Post by dunmunro » Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:36 pm

Keith Enge wrote:
This sort of battle basically never occurred. The Mediterranean theater didn't have hundreds of planes attacking ships. The RAF and Luftwaffe considered it a secondary theater where second-line planes could still be used. For example, for a long time, the RAF sent Hurricanes to the Med while keeping its Spitfires in England.

Which second line planes did the Luftwaffe use in the Med?

I think you might have overlooked the Battle for Crete, and Operations Harpoon and Vigorous.

Spitfire production expanded much more slowly than Hurricane production but the Hurricane was still being used as a frontline aircraft in the UK until late 1941, when the decision was made to utilize Spitfire Vs in Malta. The Mk V was the first Spitfire suitable for long range ferry missions and a number of technical innovations were required before this could happen, including the development of suitable long range drop tanks and tropical filter air intakes.

The function of carriers was different in the Med, in that the Carrier might be a target, but it was no longer the Primary target of of Axis airforces, which meant that CVs in the Med would not have the same advantages of massive and dedicated AA support from escorts, since they were not afforded priority for protection; it was the slow merchant ships that were the highest priority during the Malta Convoys, and RN escorts had to be deployed accordingly. Additionally, the Lufwaffe had high speed fighter bombers, such as the Me110 and Me109, and high speed bombers such as the Ju-88, which could not be intercepted by any Allied CV based fighters, with possible exception of the Sea Hurricane IIC and the Seafire, but in any event the USN did not field a fighter than could hope to deal with these advanced aircraft until the F6F of mid 1943.

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Re: Would Yamato with advanced AA gunnery survive air attack

Post by alecsandros » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:05 pm

boredatwork wrote:
I'm sorry but I'm failing to see your logic here - imagine the Yamato class with Iowa class AA in the mediterranean under attack by hundreds of torpedo bombers/high level bombers (well escorted), or trying to tackle the mine defenses/uboats/s-boats of occupied France or the Netherlands... How exactly would she be better off? She'll absorb more bombs and torpedoes before sinking but she has even less chance of accomplishing something than the carrier before she goes down. Just because it IS POSSIBLE to counter a carrier by massing enough aircraft is not an argument in favour of the battleship but rather an argument for massing more carriers or not getting involved in a war with such a power in the first place.
We're on different pages here.
What I said was that a properly defended battleship could destroy vast numbers of aircraft (as demonstrated by US battleships, British battleships, and to some extent German battleships after 1942). Yamato wasn't attacked by the airwing of 1 carrier, but of several, just like Musashi. Had a Japanese task-force with equal AA defense as a US task-force been present, I very much doubt either super-battleship would have been sunk.

Furthermore, my point wasn't thta battleship > carrier, but that even in the post-Midway world, the batleship still served an important role, and could accomplish some types of missions with better results than a carrier. Moreover, in balanced engamgements, the air-wings of carriers would be quickly wiped out, leaving a gun&torpedo battle to unfold, IF the 2 commanders decided to so. If they decide to engage or not was not my point, but the fact that a victory could only be achieved through an old-style battle, because the bombers would be obliterated in teh first day.
But a battleship WAS dependant on small lightly defended units - for protection from opposing torpedo boats, submarines, mines, aircraft, etc.
I don't see the resemblence. A carrier left without planes is useless, while a modern battleship without protection from other ships can still hold it's own, through speed, manouvre (against torpedoes), AA gunfire (against planes), and heavy gunfire against surface ships.
As for "Far inland?" A battleship might strike up to 25 miles inland, but in order to do so she would have to be ajacent to the shoreline and an easy target for costal artillery, mines, light forces, submarines, and enemy airstrikes. A carrier, even using early war planes, could hit 100+ miles inland while remaining 100+ miles off shore and beyond the reach of many forms of retaliation.
Again, wer;re on different pages.
Of course a carrier may launch a strike even 400 miles inland, but if it would do so against targets with good fighter protection and/or large concentrations of modern AA guns, they would lose their entire waves of attack very quickly.
Again, I think you are overestimating the capabilities of the carrier in the Mediteranean and the North Atlantic, by observing only the attacks they did against poorly defended targets (Vittorio Venetto, Taranto, etc).
Think about teh raid 12 Albacores launched from Victorious against Tirpitz (1942). No hits, 2 Albacores shot down, and "several" badly damaged.

Or about operation Pedestal, during the battle of Malta: 4 heavily defended RN carriers tried desperately to hold off the waves of (land-based) attacking planes, in order to allow 14 heavily-loaded merchant ships to reach Malta. Only 5 convoy ships reached the destination; 1 carrier sunk (Eagle), 2 damaged (Furious, Victorious).
On the flip side in the much more common situation where the balance of air power tips to one side or the other it's kinda hard to find examples of battles where the side left with the greater air power wasn't the side that came out on top.
That is because the only examples of carrier-to-carrier action fo the war were those of USN vs IJN. Imagine another one, with comparable technology for either side.
You counter your own argument - the Carrier was most effective because the allies obtained air supremacy very early in the war. If air supremacy allows weapons to be so effective then one must ask what gained air supremacy? Answer: Aircraft. .
The Japanese failed to train pilots at the rate needed to keep supplied the fleet and the land-based bases. The losses at Midway, Coral Sea and Solomon Islands (about 600 crews) were still not recuperated during battle of Leyte, 1.5 years later.
They also failed to produce AA systems comparable to the Allies, or to the German ones.

So yes, the US carriers did obtain air supremacy, but that was because the Japanese lacked the means and/or the coordonation to keep their anti-aircraft arm (fighters + AA guns) up to strength...
Think about US carriers against German-type AA gunfire + Me-109G/K + FW-190D-2/D-9...

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